The Régie de l’énergie has approved a new rate option for Québec greenhouse growers.
Last July, Hydro-Québec submitted an application regarding this new option to the Régie in order to extend the terms and conditions of its Additional Electricity Option to a greater number of growers and to make it available for a new type of energy use at a rate of 5.59¢ per kilowatt hour (kWh) for photosynthetic lighting and space heating to raise crops, available to all growers with a power demand of at least 50 kilowatts (kW).
Here are the highlights of the enhanced rate option, available immediately:
- The power demand threshold has been lowered from 300 kilowatts (kW) to 50 kW.
- Electricity consumption for space heating to raise crops now qualifies in addition to that used for photosynthetic lighting.
- Contracts at large-power Rate LG (for uses other than industrial activities) are now also eligible.
As was the case before, the price of additional electricity will be set monthly, based on marginal electricity supply costs for the Québec market. It can be as low as 5.59¢ per kilowatthour (kWh), or 4.67¢/kWh for Rate LG customers.
“This new rate option is a major step towards Québec’s food self-sufficiency,” stated Éric Filion, President of Hydro-Québec Distribution et Services partagés. “The public health crisis we’ve been grappling with for the past several months has highlighted the importance of being able to rely on a locally-sourced food supply, produced using our own clean energy.”
Currently, annual electricity sales related to greenhouse production total about 250 gigawatt hours (GWh). Hydro-Québec estimates that, with the new rate option, they could increase by some 450 GWh over the next 10 years.
The new rate option will also have a significant impact on the environment, since it will help avoid 48,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, which is equivalent to taking 14,000 vehicles off the road in Québec. It therefore ties in perfectly with the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy (2030 PGE) recently launched by the Québec government.
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